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Being compared to Spice Girls is “the biggest compliment ever” – The River catches up with Neon Jungle’s Shereen

By Christian Eede Oct 22, 2014
Four-piece girl band Neon Jungle think being compared to Spice Girls is “the biggest compliment ever,” and quite fitting since they also aspire to take over the world. Second Single ‘Braveheart’ currently has 10 million views on Youtube, and their debut album Welcome to the Jungle, which came out earlier this year, has already achieved a whopping four top 20 singles.
With things all happening so fast for the group, The River decided to call up Neon Jungle’s Shereen Cutkelvin to speak about their first year as a band and the bond that has seen them happily through their time together so far.

Shereen said: “Since we got signed it’s been go, go, go and work, work, work. That’s been the best way though because it throws us into it all and sets us up well for the future.”

She and the other girls, Amira McCarthy, Jess Plummer and Asami Zdrenka, all joined the band in different ways. Jess and Amira were scouted while out shopping, but Asami and Shereen both found their fame through the internet.

“Sony held open auditions to begin with, but myself and Asami were actually found on YouTube. Jess and Amira were scouted while out shopping, so we were all randomly brought together in the final parts of the auditions,” Shereen explained.

After forming the band, they ended up doing showcases named as “The Girls”. Not the best name you say? Sony agreed.

“There was more and more pressure to find a name as we went along,” she said. “We were thinking with Sony for so long, and then we were just told ‘girls, you have 10 minutes to find a name otherwise the label is going to name you’ and then about five minutes before the deadline Jess just suggested Neon Jungle and it stuck with us.”

Many people are keen to compare Neon Jungle to other girl bands who came around by similar means, but that is something Sheeren is not too upset by.

“I tend to take it as a compliment because if people are comparing you to the Spice Girls, that’s the biggest compliment ever – they took over the world so quickly.

“Another one we get is Little Mix and that’s amazing too because they’ve had so much success so quickly and they’re all so talented. It just seems that the thing people automatically do is that when they see four girls singing in a group, they have to compare them with another four girls.”

Soon after the group formed, the girls all moved in together WHERE? and Shereen said this was important for bringing them together and ensuring that the tensions that might perhaps arise in bands were kept at bay.

“We were with each other 24/7 in the beginning and we just immediately bonded,” she said. “Jess moved out recently because she has a house in London, but we still all have that bond.

“We’ve got to know each other and know not to push each other’s buttons, although sometimes it’s fun to do that. The way we were brought together made a kind of sisterly relationship between us all.”

Though the girls are quite different, Sheeren feels they all bring something to the table.

She grew up listening to Motown, including the likes of Temptations and Diana Ross, and is heavily influenced by old soul music.

Being part of a group is, so far, way more tempting than the prospect of going it alone, Sheeren admits.

“You’re just never alone. We all go to gigs together, we travel everywhere together, and we always have somebody there to vibe off onstage. To be able to spend so much time having fun with your friends is incredible, and I would not change it for anything.”


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